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Tongan flag-bearer struggles to qualify for Winter Olympics

16 January 2018

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Tongan-Australian athlete Pita Taufatofua, who made world headlines as the flag-bearer for Tonga at the 2016 Rio Olympics, may have missed his last chance to qualify for this year's Winter Olympics as a cross-country skier. 

Taufatofua has achieved qualifying times in four of the five cross-country skiing courses he needs, to secure a place at the games, but poor performances in his last two races could cost the 34-year-old a trip to South Korea.

Pita Taufatofua. Photo/ Instagram.

Taufatofua struggled through a race in Armenia two days ago and despite a last minute dash to make another qualifier in Croatia, the former taekwondo competitor missed his flight. 

In a social media post the athlete says it was always going to be a long shot to qualify before next week's January 21 deadline, and he is already planning his next move.

Tags: sport, Tonga,